Meet Mustafa Musaji, our Red Hatter of the Week!

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This week's featured Red Hatter is Mustafa Musaji.



In his own words:


Hello, my name is Mustafa Musaji and I'm from Basingstoke, England. I'm a Software Maintanence Engineer (SME) at Red Hat, specifically working on supporting and maintaining Red Hat Midd

leware Products such as JBoss. This is my primary role however I wear many hats (all Red of course *boom boom* ;) ) during a typical day and I'm hoping to share some of what I do and we do at Red Hat GSS this week with you all. First a little about me... 

Before joining Red Hat just over two years ago, I was a Software Engineer working in the payment industry. I started out as a C programmer but quickly moved to Java and JEE and developing applications for JEE Application Servers such as JBoss. I didn't really find working on 12-18 month projects challenging on a daily basis and found support to be my "calling". My main role as a SME is to support customers with questions they have about our products, creating patches for bugs, providing fixes upstream and to be a team player. I'm also a GSS Product Liaison for JBoss Developer Studio and JBoss Web Framework Kit. This means I work with a our Product Management Team on deciding what great new features we want to support in the next releases of these products as well as working on product roadmaps and future plans.

Working at Red Hat is so much fun. It's a challenging role and the reward of solving a customer problem or fixing a bug is equally satisfying. I learn something new everyday. Prior to joining Red Hat, open source was just software that was free. However, I've learned very quickly that Open Source is a lot more than just software- it's a culture. It's a way of doing something that is based on collaboration, trust, listening and understanding. Red Hat is the World's Open Source Leader and (un)surprisingly it has very little to do with Software when you think about it like this. It's a fantastic place to work and I consider myself very lucky.

In my spare time I love doing many different things. I enjoy watching TV shows and I'm currently itching for Breaking Bad and Suits mid season breaks to come to an end. I'm a huge Formula One fan and sports in general and have recently taken up running and swimming (although my colleagues seem to think I just sit in the sauna!). My other passion is driving and I take every opportunity to go for a long drive when I can... based on this can you guess what car I drive? :)


Do you drive a Ferrari? No wait you work for Red Hat, must be a Red Kit Car!

Haha I wish I drove Ferrari... no I drive a car from the company that gives us The Ultimate Driving Machine *hint hint* :)

M3, M5 ... oh no it must be the M6 Coupé

Once again, how I wish it was any of these. I would choose the M5 over any car (other than a 911). I was thinking about getting an older M3 however fuel costs are not funny :( So yes it's a BMW but your standard 320D Coupe. But how I love driving it...

Mustafa sat down to give us answers to some of the most frequent questions he gets at work!


What technical area do you specialize in and why?
I try to focus on Web Services. 'Why' is a very good question. When I was a Developer before joining Red Hat Support I was heavily focused on designing and implementing Web Services on JBoss. When I joined Red Hat Support, it was a good starting point for me to start answering questions in."


I would like to use a different version of a component than what is shipped with JBoss, can you tell me how I can do this?
Yes and no. We can give you guidance but we can't support you if something goes wrong because we ship a set of certified and tested components with JBoss. As you can imagine, we can't possibly support every version of a component so we give you the list of supported components we ship with JBoss. See If there's a bug with one of these components we can look at a providing you with a patch, but we can't do the same with a component you have swapped and installed yourself unfortunately.


What patches should I apply to my JBoss instance that I'm setting up?
You should apply the security advisories that are published for that version of software. You should NOT be applying any other patches that you are not seeing an issue for. That is, patches are one off fixes for specific use cases that change behaviour. Unless you are seeing this behaviour, there is no need for you to apply the patch. If you are unsure if a patch is right for you then you should raise a support case with us and we'll look in to it.


What happens when you can't solve a problem in Support?
I've been working in support for just over 2 years and I've not seen a problem that has no solution. We always try to find a solution that fits the use case best but that solution may not be what pleases all involved. Sometimes the use case is not valid, or sometimes it's based around specification interpretation. But the way forward is based on facts and solid reasoning and never because it is because someone says it has to be this way without understanding the full picture."


Are you office based and what does your desk look like?
I'm lucky enough to be able to work from home where I have a very basic set up. But I only work from home if I need to as I find I work better in the office where I can discuss ideas with my colleagues in person. Thus, I'm normally in the office where I have a set up I could only have dreamed of when I was a kid. I have a Lenova T510 Laptop running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. This is a dual screen set up so I use the laptop and have 22" monitor hooked up to it. I use JBoss Developer Studio as my main IDE and Chrome as my main Browser. I have an Android tablet (Asus TF201) and phone (HTC Desire S) that I use for personal use but come in handy when I'm on the move or taking notes in meetings. It all syncs with Google Docs with no issues. I have a desktop machine, which runs Fedora 15, that I mainly use for building and debugging. The best part of all this is the two machines (the laptop and the desktop) and the three screens are all linked using synergy So it looks awesome and most importantly, it's actually useable.